Samuel Warner

Authentic and

Impartial Narrative

October, 1831

Pamphlets

 

In the fall of 1831, two pamphlets were published that capitalized on the sensationalist nature of the revolt.

 

The first was published in New York City by an unknown author named Samuel Warner. Warner drew largely on existing newspaper articles to produce his text. Although he repeatedly noted the savagery of the rebels, however, Warner's pamphlet - the Authentic and Impartial Narrative of the Tragical Scene - also contained decidedly abolitionist sentiments.

 

The second pamphlet came out in November, shortly after Nat Turner had been executed. Its author, Southampton County attorney Thomas R. Gray, claimed to have recorded Turner's own words, as he related to Gray his own story of what had led to the revolt and of what had happened during those two days in August. Later commentators reported that Gray's pamphlet sold some 40-50,000 copies, making it one of the chief sources of information about the revolt for ordinary Americans.

Thomas R. Gray

The Confessions of 

Nat Turner

November, 1831